Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday kept investors’ hopes high for a continued low-interest environment, and the markets headed higher, including a 160-point gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Gains were broad among the Dow components, with American Express (NYSE:AXP) leading its brethren with a 2.5% gain on news the company would hike its dividend for the first time in almost five years. AXP’s quarterly payout will jump 11% to 20 cents per share on May 10 to shareholders of record on April 5, good for a 1.2% yield on its closing price of $58.66.
Other strong Dow performers included financial giant JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM, +2.2%) and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS, +1.7%). All but one component was up for the day — Verizon (NYSE:VZ), down just a quarter of a percent.
Far outshining the Dow, though, was automaker Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), which gained almost 10% after a Wunderlich Securities analyst upgraded shares from hold to buy with a price target of $49. The analyst cited optimism on production of the company’s Model S sedan. TSLA closed Friday trading around $34 but finished on Monday at an all-time high of $37.40.
One of today’s dimmer stories was Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR), which was headed toward slight gains but fell to a 2% decline in the afternoon. The drop came soon after Bloomberg reported that the company’s founder and chairman sold more than $66 million worth of stock just before its plunge sparked by Starbucks’ (NASDAQ:SBUX) announcement of its own single-cup brewer.
- Threshold Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:THLD): Up 9.4% (69 cents) to $8.03.
- Cheniere Energy (AMEX:LNG): Up 7.1% ($1.02) to $15.41.
- Office Depot (NYSE:ODP): Up 7.1% (25 cents) to $3.79.
- Broadvision (NASDAQ:BVSN): Down 14% ($4.63) to $28.50.
- KB Home (NYSE:KBH): Down 6.5% (67 cents) to $9.62.
- Sina Corp. (NASDAQ:SINA): Down 4.7% ($3.25) to $65.78.